The General Secretary of the governing National Democratic Congress, Johnson Asiedu Nketia, has maintained that the Institute for Economic Affairs (IEA), can count President John Mahama out of its 2016 presidential debate.
Rather the NDC is preparing their 2016 flagbearer to participate in another debate being organised by the state broadcaster, the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC).
The latest emphasis confirms the IEA’s inability to repair its relationship with the governing party which has accused the governance think-tank of bias.
The NDC has branded the IEA as an appendage of the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP). Johnson Asiedu Nketia alleged last May that the IEA allowed pro-NPP speakers to contribute a public program it organised on the subject of corruption. But the institute denied him an opportunity to also comment.
The relationship has further deteriorated since the compliant.
The IEA had revealed it was in discussions with the NDC over its boycott of this year’s debates. The think-tank’s Executive Director Jean-Mensah was optimistic about the return of the NDC for the Presidential Debate Series which starts 8th November 2016 in Tamale in the Norther region.
“We are hoping that all four parties with representation in parliament will participate,” she said last week.
The NDC General Secretary confirmed talks were underway but said no agreement had been reached. He said the IEA last week, sent a delegation to the NDC to discuss the possibility of “letting by-gones be by-gones”.
The hailed NDC political tactician explained that the party is open to renewing its relationship with the IEA but only after the December general elections.
But before the general elections, the NDC is not keen on any reconciliation or any participation in any of the three debates.
“Since we have already committed ourselves to another debate that is being organised by GBC, we are unable to participate in that debate,” he told Joy News’ Francis Abban.
According to him after pleadings from the IEA, he could only assure the think-tank that their concerns will be carried to the National Executive Committee of the NDC for deliberations.
In the absence of any decision, the NDC is paying no attention to activities of the IEA.